Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Birthday Wish

Six years of existence....
Classic Chocolate Cake- I have double the recipe- seen here,
this cake is quite overbaked.

The Birthday Cake- Classic Chocolate Cake frosted with White Chocolate and Buttercream, topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries

Celebrating birthday with friends- daycare at kindergarten

Six years ago, I would have never known that my life would change with the arrival of a bouncy young baby boy. He was anticipated by yours truly as I have always wanted many children in my life.  But God has his own plan. This bouncy baby boy came into my life and commanded my full attention for six fine years as he was the only child. I've changed along the way, growing up and learning to become a mother as well. I learnt to rely to my motherly instincts and made many sacrifices in the last six years of my life. God knows how difficult it is to balance work commitments and responsibilities at the same time. You see, I have a very demanding job which required paper chase as well. Sometimes I wake up at 4 on Saturdays just to be in one of the places by 6.30 in the morning. I might as well keep saying that I hate my job, and I always dream of quitting and concentrating on baking- for leisure and pleasure, of course. That is why as much as I like to update my blog and trying new recipes- I fail in that area, simply because I don't have much time and energy to spare. I am too exhausted by the end of the day. And for this birthday celebration, I slogged like a crazy woman just to bake a birthday cake as wished by my son. I was tired before that. He was actually asking for a chocolate cake with white frosting and fresh fruits as seen from the picture. I tried to oblige as I didn't really spend time with him lately ...... I was busy with work. Eventually, I have managed to bake a birthday cake as what he had requested, only after a second attempt in baking. The first cake was a failure (even a baker failed miserably at times). Finally, after nearly giving up - I have managed to bake a Classic Chocolate Cake, overbaked it a little bit {Choc Cake recipe-click here } frosted with White Chocolate and Buttercream.  I did something horrible with the frosting, and after three hours managed to get ready for the birthday celebration. Well, that settled, I was exhausted by the end of the day. But, glad I did bake the cake.. (phew). That's what we call Love, right!

The portion of the cake- 3/4 left

Little Azeem when he was just a baby...seen here with his grandfather

This cake is a proof of a mother's love to her child....
Happy 6th Birthday dear son- may you grow up to be a wise and knowledgeable person....May we have more birthday celebrations in years to come...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Memories of yesteryears- Chocolate and Zucchini cupcakes

I have grated chocs into the cupcakes... seen here are unbaked cupcakes and "zucchinis"

Piping hot in the oven

Black beauty- they are...

As natural as they are....Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes

     I have  always loved these mouth-watering, easy to please Chocolate and Zucchini cupcakes. I stopped baking them after one incident that I wished to forget. But through the persuasian of a favourite student, V- I have managed to bake them -today. Yes, today....Time after time, he kept mentioning these cupcakes, persuading me through out the years to bake these for him and I kept telling him that I would not bake them anymore. Yes, my feelings were mixed when I baked them today, ~ thinking that I am old now. My student was only 14 when he tasted these cupcakes and he kept telling me how he missed these cupcakes. He is now a 17 year old teenager in the brink of adulthood. Frankly speaking, after an incident that I really wanted to forget, I stopped baking cupcakes altogether. I was frustrated and sad as well.. but today, I baked them again.
    Three years ago, when I started this blog, I was experimenting with all types of recipes, and I was concentrating on cupcakes. I just adored the mini-sized cakes, as you should know, cupcakes were all the craze years ago, many home bakers started business and got a lot of profits just by selling cupcakes. I knew one professional turned part time baker  who managed to do brisk business in cupcakes and  at one time, the income from her business surplussed her own salary. Then, the craze for cupcakes died... just like that. It's sad. Now, there are macaroons, whoopie pies and what ever baking creations some other people would like to offer.
     Back to these cupcakes, I did not know how to describe them - in words. I guess,  I might be over react with their flavours, as I have always loved them to bits. You can read my older posts on these cupcakes back in July 2008. At that time, I was inspired by  Heidi of 101 cookbooks. Today, I am going to share this recipe, so that every one would regard zucchini in a higher postion rather than some tasteless vegetables. Here goes;


1 cup brown sugar
3-4 tbs caster sugar
1 tbs honey
1/4 cup melted butter ( I have used salted)
3/4 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2-3 tbs fresh milk
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups plain flour
1 cup grated choc/chop chips ( I have grated Hershey's chocolate- did not put in the choc chips)
1  cup cocoa powder ( I have used Hershey's)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp all spice  powder( this- I omitted -forgotten actually)
2 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder( I put 1/2 tsp -missed reading the actual recipe)


    In a stainless steel bowl, mix sugar, honey, melted butter and coconut oil. You can use electric    hand mixer. (I did the traditional way.... hand-whisk). Beat in eggs, one by one. Mix well.  Stir in vanilla essence, sour cream, zucchini, grated chocolate and salt. Mix well. Add in milk, followed   by lemon juice. In a separate bowl, sift altogether --soda bicarbonate, flour, cinnamon , all  spice and cocoa powder.  Add in the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix them together.  Preheat oven for 8 mins ( 150C)-- I used conventional electric type oven.  
      Get ready your souffle paper cups. ( I used medium-sized cups). Spoon 3-5 tbs of the batter into    the cups. Make sure they are 3/4 full and there are spaces between the cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes. After 20 mins, they would be ready. Check if they are ready, by inserting  a skewer into the cakes, if the skewer comes out clean, then, your cakes are ready. Do not over  bake them...

Happy baking. May cupcakes rule your heart and brighten up your days...

Chocolate and Zucchini Cupcakes frosted with chocolate ganache

Cropped-up view

Ready to be given to my fav student, V...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Eid-ul Adha and Marble Rainbow Cake

Marble Rainbow Cake- for Eid Celebration

The view from top -as  colourful as the RAINBOW, hence the name.

Last  Sunday was Eid-ul Adha in Malaysia. It's a special day for Muslims. This is when sacrifices are made, cattles (usually) are slaughtered, and the meat is distributed to the poor. I would have preferred Eid-ul Adha rather than Eid-Fitr personally, as I got more time to spend in the kitchen and the preparations are not so taxing. So, every year - I will head to my maternal grandmother's house in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan to celebrate Eid. It's so nice to be surrounded by family  members and this is the time I got to meet my cousins and their children as well. For this celebration, I've promised my mum that I would bake two cakes and make some curry puffs. But being me, with all the things that I needed to prepare, I ended up baking only ONE cake. Yes, only one. I know that my mum has simple taste  in cakes, she would only want a fuss-free cake without all sorts of icing. So, that would be easy then - and I ended up baking this cake. This is definitely a classic type of cake. Everybody would have known any recipe of a marble cake. I've done many types of cakes, all based on recipes - I even twicked here and there to suit my taste bud. However, this time I relied on my instincts and experiences as a baker. I wanted to do an experiment, hence this Marble Rainbow Cake. There are many cakes that used a lot of extra things, but I only want to do a simple one. My ideal cake should come out tasting good and the texture is moist and buttery as well. I followed my heart, relying much on my likings, recollecting my failed attempts in recipe inventions- and I came out with this cake. I went slowly with the methods, writing out the recipe during the process. It took me opproximately, an hour to do all the preparations and baking ( I assemble the ingredients beforehand). Apparently, I was a satisfied baker with the results. So, it was a successful experiment- I brought this back to my "kampung" (village) and there was always a second helping for everyone. Well, everyone was happy during this Eid and it's all about family and happiness. Here is the recipe for everyone to try.

315g of unsalted butter ( I used SCS and Lurpak)- they were available in my fridge
1 cup - caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
2  1/2 cup of self-raising flour ( sifted)
8 eggs
1-2 tsp of apple green colour
1 -2 tsp of red and pink colour -combine this to get the desired colour as seen in my picture
4 tbs of evaporated milk ( I used Ideal from Nestle)
* If you should use salted butter, omit salt in the recipe
* I don't used vanilla essence in this recipe- I want the taste of a buttery cake

** Preheat oven -150C (7-8 mins)
1) In a stainless steel bowl, cream butter and sugar well- 4 to 5 mins,
     medium speed using hand mixer
2) Add in salt. Add in eggs, one by one- combine well.
3) Add in flour, go slowly, by three to four batches - mix well
4) Add in evaporated milk, combine well. Divide mixture into three parts. Colour one part of the cake   mixture- green, another part the combination of pink and red. The last part should be in the original   colour.
5) Grease your baking pan with butter and line  with parchment paper.
6) Pour the original colour mixture into the baking pan. Put  dollops of green mixture in certain parts of the baking pan, then put the red mixture, as well. After that, put dollops of  the original mixture. Combine the three colours by mixing them well using a rubber spatula, so that you would have a rainbow colour cake as seen from the picture.
7) Put your baking tray into the oven. The cake would take about 25-30 mins depending on the size of your baking tray. Test if your cake is ready by inserting a skewer. If the cake is ready, the skewer will come out clean.

** Cut into squares and serve them with a cup of black coffee. Then you  will know that you are coming home... hmmmm

The journey of " balik kampung" ( homecoming)

"Kampung" is surrounded by coconut trees... ;)

Eid's breakfast- Lemang, Grandma's antique teapot and the cake cut into squares
Close- up view - on top we have the rainbow effect and when we cut into squares,it looked so beautiful with the different colours meddling into each other.

Now, that the "homecoming" is completed, everyone should have happy moments with their loved ones. Happy days ahead  and may your  heart  filled with heavenly baking goodness....



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